I think I'm done with nursing. - page 3

by MBrickle | 15,033 Views | 71 Comments

I've had a tough few weeks of self-reflection. My mind has gone back and forth over my preferred career path, and, ultimately, I think I'm going to bow out gracefully. I am a career-change RN. After receiving two bachelor... Read More


  1. 0
    Dear MBrickle,
    Perhaps a little hiatus (an extended vacation to Europe, etc.) will not be a bad idea. When you are away, perhaps, you'll miss what you have selflessly done for such a long time. Bedside nursing can burn out some of us. But there are other aspects of nursing which are not as stressful. I worked as a Research coordinator for 4 years and loved every minute of it.
    I understand that tele-nursing is also an enriching experience.
    My best friend is an intake-coordinator who mostly deals with transferring in and transferring out the patients from her facility and swears she wouldn't do anything else. There is flexibility, autonomy, and some brickbats; but overall, it is indeed a relatively easier job.
    Please reconsider your decision; you'll hear an inner voice that will guide you to the best path.
  2. 1
    I know you love nursing, this is wonderful, but with herniated discs, I don't think nursing is the right career for you. I don't know if you have standing or sitting problems (i.e., have to rotate from standing to sitting and vice versa to avoid pain), but nursing is certainly strenuous on the body.

    A family member had herniated discs more than 20 years ago and they received a microdiscectomy. At the time the treatment was cutting edge. The surgeon and hospital were decent and it helped... From what I know, a person doesn't receive a large scar from it like in discectomy. However, back problems are usually chronic and the treatments are to lessen the pain, improve movement, and prevent it from becoming worse.

    I'd suggest going back to your legal career were the back isn't so important. You can ALWAYS get involved with helping people in other ways. There are MANY other helping careers and professions which don't require direct care or treatment of the injured. There is always fundraising. It's disappointing, but there are ALWAYS many more doors that open when one closes, and PLENTY of opportunities out there.

    Quote from MBrickle
    I've had a tough few weeks of self-reflection. My mind has gone back and forth over my preferred career path, and, ultimately, I think I'm going to bow out gracefully.

    I am a career-change RN. After receiving two bachelor degrees in non-nursing fields, I realized what I had really known all along - nursing was for me. I worked hard, I worked full time, I put myself through school, I was at the top of my class....andddd...I got a pedi home health job. My ADN isn't worth the paper it's written on in the Northeast.

    THEN, I blew my back out. Massive herniation, 6 months off work, and pain to end all pain. I deal with workers comp, I rehab (luckily no surgery) and I get back to work this past June.

    My DREAM is to be an acute care nurse. I love working with high-acuity and in a fast-paced, think-on-your-feet environment...as someone who as always craved more 'excitement,' this is for me. BUT, I have an ADN. And even with a BSN, hospitals aren't hiring you unless you have previous hospital experience (usually already in the specialty you are trying to break in to,) and you can't get experience of any kind because nobody will hire you to begin with. Add to that a back injury, and I'm further limited to PICU, but preferably NICU as I really do not want to temp fate with my back...and REFUSE a future filled with spinal fusions and all that jazz.

    I tried to convince myself to be an FNP. I even toyed with PA school, but I'm so frustrated by all of the courses that I will have to re-take since I am past my 10 year expiration for most schools.

    I'm frustrated. I would be a STELLAR ICU nurse. I really would. I have fought so hard to get here and it's taken years. I just don't think I have much fight left in me. Moving isn't an option as my husband makes more than double what I do and has a job with a large pay potential.

    It is just so discouraging to see that travel nurses are getting hired all over the place because they are cheaper from every angle. Local nurses need the jobs! I'm just over it at this moment. I am just treading water and getting sick of it. Hard work has officially gotten me nowhere and there is no silver lining in sight.

    Just needed to rant/vent/sulk/express my frustration

    May as well go back to my pre-nursing legal career where I made the same money, didn't have to do nearly as much work, and wasn't in a field that constantly tempted me to do more and be more, but knowing that the goals I have in mind are pretty unattainable.

    :::END PITY PARTY:::
    anotherone likes this.
  3. 6
    I hear ya! Sat in the staff meeting the other day and listened to the manager heap praise on a nurse who "took the initiative" to clean a room when the housekeeper had disappeared. Again. When the manager started in about how we can all take more initiative, I mentally added it to the list of idiotic jobs I do that really someone else is getting paid for: answering phones,administering breathing treatments, social work stuff, etc. I thought nursing will always be a hell hole because rns are a glutton for punishment. They refuse to advance themselves. They insist on having the lowest standard of education possible in health care and are proud of it! Started my applications to grad school. Can't wait to put bedside behind me.
    DixieBelle7, Mom To 4, anotherone, and 3 others like this.
  4. 1
    Dear VICEDRN,
    In my hospital, nurses have to do the in-take, get approval from insurance companies (which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours), transfer patients out, arrange for follow-up appointments, and arrange for transportation (cab, or ambulance, etc.) They never taught us that in nursing school about 2 decades ago. Is it in the curriculum now?
    Mom To 4 likes this.
  5. 5
    Quote from Vishwamitr
    Dear VICEDRN,
    In my hospital, nurses have to do the in-take, get approval from insurance companies (which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours), transfer patients out, arrange for follow-up appointments, and arrange for transportation (cab, or ambulance, etc.) They never taught us that in nursing school about 2 decades ago. Is it in the curriculum now?
    No, they don't teach it. For the record, t bothers me more to do a job someone else is already getting paid and isn't doing then to do something that no one is doing for patient and I haven't been trained to do.
  6. 2
    Take some classes to see if a interest is sparked, the longer you wait to get into a unit(sometimes the grass is no greener there) time continues to pass. Myself I had to return to school I'm a young nurse but I see the jobs trending as we are processing massive amounts of data. So I'm back in school to get my MSN-Nursing informatics,I'm more than half way into the program. After that I will more less return for a DNP. Its hard to advance without the degrees....I know I hate returning to school but I didn't have a choice if I plan to at least remain in nursing for another 10 years. I want to transition from bedside care which I'm doing now. Look at your goals, and where you want to be and weigh the total situation. As nurses we have to market ourselves because it is competitive. You spoke about BSN just an FYI by 2014 80% of floor nurses will need to have that degree at magnet hospitals. So thats why I'm doing my MSN so I can have more job options....and even teach if I want too. I wish you the best in whatever path you take. Please treat yourself well since nursing does take a toll on the body and mind at times. Do I think I'm going to make a lot of extra money no. But do I think I will be able to continue to support myself yes. Its just me so I'm the everything bread winner and eater. No kids yet determine to obtain my goals. So vent and collect yourself and keep strong. Success starts with a desire and moves with a plan.
    Last edit by thecool1Nscrubs2no on Jan 5, '13 : Reason: spelling
    Not_A_Hat_Person and pbuttercups like this.
  7. 2
    Quote from MBrickle
    Being a lawyer...ugh, yikes!

    I LOVE nursing. It's where I want to be! My frustration comes from not being able to make a move out of what I'm doing and into the hospital environment/acute care that I really see myself doing for the long haul! I can't make a move. I'm STUCK! It's so, so frustrating, especially after how hard I have worked (as I know many people have.) I just wish I could more easily get into the hospital. It's honestly next to impossible, I feel! This is what is really getting me down...and resulted in my bacon grilled cheese, french fries, and mint chip ice cream for dinner :-)
    Well, that meal might get you into the hospital, just not the way you want to be there.

    I'm really sorry all you've been through. I wish you could have been in nursing back when I first graduated; it was pretty slick then, till about 1995 or so, then things started to go downhill. With your bad back, though, you wouldn't make through orientation. These days it's getting really hard to work "the floors" if you are not hale and hearty.

    Best wishes for whatever you decide to do.
    anotherone and multi10 like this.
  8. 5
    Over and over I read what an awful job nursing is, and what awful people nurses have turned out to be . . . and I don't see it. Granted, some jobs are horrible as are some people. But the majority of nurses I know are smart, hardworking and NICE people who really want to give their best. I work in the ICU and have for decades, but I've encountered some really wonderful people who happen to be nurses when I've been a patient (as I've been for most of this year) or my family members have been. I've only run into one or two stinkers. Over the years I've encountered only a few truly miserable people in nursing, although I've encountered many more than that in other fields.

    Perhaps the dichotomy is because people are expecting nurses to be perfect, to be "angels of mercy" or some other such tripe when nurses are merely good people doing a tough job.

    A back injury is a good excuse to leave nursing if that's what a person has made up their mind to do. But surely I'm not the only person who has had a back injury, gone through the horrible pain, the months without pay and the hard work of rehab to go back to the profession I love? When I first injured my back, I thought I was never going to be able to walk "normally" again because the nerve controlling my right knee was pinched and the knee wasn't supporting my weight. I had surgery, I did the PT, I strengthened my other muscles and I went back to work. It can be done if one is determined to do it.

    If ICU is your dream, you can do it. I'm not going to lie and say it will be easy. But it can be done. But, as I was told at the time by more than one person, if you want out of nursing, a back injury is a great excuse. I just couldn't see myself quitting, so I didn't.
    OCNRN63, anotherone, Pixie.RN, and 2 others like this.
  9. 2
    Just my 2 cents, related to back problems...

    I suffered a herniated disk back in August of 2008. I was in HORRIFIC pain, could barely walk,
    thought my life as I knew it was over. I had actually been having problems with my back, back
    pain, etc, for years prior to that, then I finally had the big blowout of my back.

    I was blessed with a very good neurosurgeon, and after a not so long period of recovery, my
    back felt WONDERFUL, better than it had in years. Over four years later, I'm still doing very
    well and feel like I could work anywhere that I want. I'm an RN in LTC and do my fair share
    of bending and lifting, but I know to be careful and use proper mechanics.

    I'm not going to say that my back never hurts; sometimes after I've been lying in a certain
    position for a while, I feel like I can't get up. However, usually once I do get up and moving
    around, the pain and stiffness subside.

    So, I just want to say that, back problems do NOT necessarily mean an end to all
    floor nursing, but it does help to find a GOOD surgeon. =)
    Not_A_Hat_Person and anotherone like this.
  10. 3
    I understand what you are going through because I'm in the same boat as you but I'm not quitting. We carer changers walked into nursing perhaps at it's worst moment. The situation now is the complete reverse of what it used to be when we started school before 2008 (if that's your case). Before there was a normal healthy workplace; appreciation; perks; job security; unlimited jobs; respect for the profession; now all the above are reversed with no foreseeable improvement. I'm only working because I took a job 7 hours from home in a absolutely remote place away from my family and I can't express how hard it is to be here but I'm doing it in the hopes I'll will get my magical 1 year experience so I can go back home. I believe however that there are reasons to be positive. The fundamentals of health care haven't change much, and nothing significant in terms of how we handle care have materialized so this crisis is produced by mostly two causes which are greedy hospitals and unemployment in other areas and that could be reversed as I believe is already happening. Obama care is around the corner and I think big hospital are about to hit the panic button and be forced to change their attitude or risk not having anybody to staff, they just can't give up their upper hand and all the millions they are making.
    boomertx, echocat, and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.


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